Wake up and smell the standards! (sidebar)

OMAC’s accomplishments

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup—consisting of volunteers from packaging end users, machine builders, and technology suppliers—has hammered out a 42-page guidelines specifications document. In it, the Packaging Workgroup • specifies four standard packaging line types ranging from nonnetworked “islands of automation” to fully interconnected, networked lines that incorporate supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and connections to higher-level enterprise networks. • recognizes the need for and is developing “PackML,” a proposed “state model” that will define standard packaging machine states to allow packaging machines to speak using the same vocabulary. One benefit: to simplify measurement, communication, and analysis of line performance metrics. • specifies three standard packaging machine control architectures: PC-based, controller-based, and drive-based, with suggestions of when to use each type. • specifies five different types of networks suitable for use in packaging machine communications: ERP bus, Cell Bus, Field Bus, Motion Bus, and I/O bus. • specifies that for motion control, packaging machines should use only IEC-recognized motion networks such SERCOS (IEC 61491) or Profibus-MC (IEC 61158). • recognizes that while SERCOS and Profibus-MC guarantee some interoperability between drives, motors, and controllers, the Packaging Workgroup has determined more interoperability is needed. OMAC has challenged the SERCOS and Profibus standards organizations to issue additional specifications that will result in a higher level of multivendor interoperability or guarantee (e.g., compliance test procedures). [Editor’s Note: SERCOS announced in September a new conformance test just for this purpose, with even more stringent conformance tests in development.] • specifies the IEC 61131-3-compliant motion control function block specification from the PLCOpen standards organization as a possible programming standard for motion-intensive packaging equipment. These are just the highlights. To download the entire 42-page guidelines document, please go to www.arcweb.com/omac and click “Motion for Packaging Machinery.”

See the story that goes with this sidebar: Wake up and smell the standards!

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